Chalk one up for the community banks.
In a late-night session and after extensive procedural maneuverings, the Senate last night approved a $30 billion fund that community banks can access to fund more business loans.
The move came as an amendment to a small business lending bill.
It is uncertain what, if any, other amendments Senate leaders will allow to be offered, which means that credit unions may again fall short in their effort to win approval for an increase in the cap on member business loans from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% of assets. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Col.) has sponsored an amendment to permit that increase. CUNA and NAFCU both pledged to continue grass roots lobbying efforts until next week's vote on the bill.
Last night's vote on the amendment was 60-39 along party lines, with the exception of two Republicans who supported the amendment.
In addition to the bank fund, the bill also includes $12 billion in tax incentives and changes to business lending programs.